Steven T Abell tries to claim that guns prevent crimes, but provides no statistics (unlike the wonderful article by Benedikt) instead, assures us that guns prevent more crimes than they cause. This claim is laughable on it's face. For every perfectly trained single white dude with a gun that imagines himself the lone ranger, there are hundreds more preventable gun crimes caused by the absurd amount of guns lying around in the States. I was born in the US, lived there till I was 26, and I feel infinitely safer here in Iceland, and it's at least in part by the lower gun ownership.
That said, surely a larger reason for the safety is the higher education level here, the lower income inequality, the lower emphasis on violence and violent rhetoric, and the closer community bonds, but tempers flare even among the best of people, and it takes a lot more action to beat a person to death with a bat than it does for the moment it takes to brandish a gun or pull a trigger.
Please, keep guns rare, off the hip of the police, and away from societal interactions. It doesn't bring safety, and all the statistics show this.
Ben Chompers, Reykjavík, Iceland (originally from Richmond, Virginia, USA)